Mission Aquarius Crew: DJ Roller
This is part of our ongoing coverage of Mission Aquarius, what may be the last mission to the world’s only remaining undersea research base. For the full story, visit our Mission Aquarius expedition page.
“I’ve been diving since I was 12, and started filming underwater right off the bat. When I took my first diving course, I bought a 35-mm still camera with money I saved up. And it just kind of hit me one day: ‘Some people make a living doing this,’” said DJ.
When it comes to underwater cinematography, DJ is as solid as they come. Whether filming in frigid Patagonia, cave diving off the Yucatan, under the sea ice in Antarctica, filming great whites in South Africa, or shooting a Hollywood feature alongside James Cameron, or a U2 concert with 200K people in a stadium, DJ’s done it. (Bono said watching the film was the first time they felt like they had actually gone to one of their concerts!).
DJ Roller shooting Sylvia Earle outside the Aquarius Reef Base. Photo: Fabien Cousteau.
As founder of production company Liquid Picutres 3D, he has been Director of Photography on numerous movies, and TV shows for National Geographic, NOVA/PBS, CNN, CBS, NBC, Discovery Channel, History Channel and others. He has won the Cine Golden Eagle Award, and has been nominated for two Emmy Awards.
Roller doesn’t just shoot with cameras in extreme underwater environments, he designs them too. Wired magazine did a feature on the groundbreaking 3D Digital Cinema Camera System he designed and built, which can capture ultra close up, underwater, 3D imagery like no other camera in the world.
As a former Aquarius aquanaut on the Jason Project, DJ brings serious underwater experience to the team. On this mission he is expedition cinematographer, capturing large format IMAX as well as RED digital imagery.
DJ hanging out in the galley at Aquarius with Sylvia Earle. © Kip Evans.
DJ shooting with his proprietary water housing built for 3D capture. © DJ Roller/Liquid Pictures.
DJ Roller and Sylvia Earle, with Mark Patterson in background, training for their saturation dive to Aquarius. Photo: © Vance Wiese/Liquid Pictures.